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Daemonism is a religion that revolves around the worship of, surprisingly, daemons. Followers practice a form of magic called chaos magic, which flows out of the daemonic realm. While it is powerful, it causes side effects to the user. Chaos magic causes mutations in the individual, making them more daemonic in appearance. The more they use, the heavier these mutations are. Users become more powerful as their bodies become more capable of using and containing chaos magic.

There is a faster way to power however. By summoning a daemon from their reality,, one can bind with them and create a new entity called a daemon host. These individuals are semi-gods among men, who can use chaos magic effortlessly. The ritual is dangerous and failure would result in the individuals soul being consumed. Success however will lead to UNLIMITED POWAH!!!

The problem is that those who want a chance of succeding during the ritual must be free of corruption. Those who have gone down the path of using a lot of chaos magic and have become heavily mutated will fail in the process. Therefore, only newer imitates who haven't utilized so much magic and haven't become mutated are viable candidates.

This is strange because it seems counterintuitive. Those who have utilized magic and have begun changing would seem the most likely to succeed in binding a daemon to themselves, as the entity is made up entirely of chaos energies and the individual possesses a ton of it. But the most powerful mages are the most likely to fail. Why would this be the case ?

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Look at the Lord of the Ring, which is more or less canon: powerful magical creatures were all around (Gandalf, Saruman, etc.), nevertheless it took a hobbit to destroy the ring and Sauron. Why?

The greater the power one has, the easier it is for him/her to be seduced by a greater power (this is what happened to Saruman). While a huge power to a complete wimp is like giving pearls to pigs.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think the genie in Sapkowski's The Last Wish is another good example of that: a magical creature that was relatively easy to banish (which Geralt does in an unconventional manner), but hard to subdue (which Yennefer was trying to do). $\endgroup$ – svavil Apr 19 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ @svavil, it wasn't easy to banish, it was just granting a with to the master. $\endgroup$ – user28434 Apr 20 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ The other aspect of this is not so much that Frodo (and Sam) is relatively powerless compared to Gandalf et al., but that he's also much less conspicuous. Even if the Ring did not have a corrupting influence on its bearer, if one of the most powerful beings in the realm tries to sneak into your realm, he's going to get noticed. As powerful as Gandalf is, he wouldn't have lasted long going toe-to-toe against Sauron with all of his forces arrayed around him. $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman Apr 20 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ @DarrelHoffman Its also the fact that the ring didn’t just grant X amount of power, it multiplied the power of the wearer. So a hobbit’s base power is relatively little meaning even when its multiplied, its not a huge increase. A sorcerer like Gandalf however would have a much higher base power than a hobbit, so thusly their power will be significantly increased by the ring. $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris Apr 22 at 0:25
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Daemons Are Better At Commanding the Power of Chaos than the Mages Summoning Them

When a mutated mage, full of power drawn from the realms of chaos, summons a daemon, he will attempt to control that daemon using that power. But the daemon can just as easily draw on the summoner's power. More easily, in fact!

The more power you have bolstered yourself with, the more empowered the daemon will be, even more than you yourself are empowered.

Those with very little power in themselves stand a better chance of wrestling with a freshly summoned daemon, because they are not empowering the daemon. Perhaps, in our wold, daemons are initially disoriented and weakened, the way a fish pulled out from the water would be.

After the union with a human, a safe link can be established back to the daemonic realms, to establish that "unlimited powah". But until then, the less magic there is around, the more vulnerable the daemon is, and the easier it is to force your will on the daemon.

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  • $\begingroup$ "Wold" should be "world" I'm guessing? (Not enough characters for me to edit) $\endgroup$ – Kat Apr 20 at 21:43
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Chaotic Energy Moves From High-Pressure to Low-Pressure Areas

A normal human is like an empty jar. When I say empty I mean there is no air inside the jar. But there is air outside the jar so when you open the lid air suddenly rushes inside.

The binding ritual works like this. You uncap the person all of a sudden, and try to suck a demon inside. Then you quickly screw the cap back on to keep the demon inside.

Using chaos magic the normal way involves opening the jar just a little bit, to allow some chaos energies to fill up the jar, so they can be used. Do that for a long time and your jar fills up. They you cannot do the suckedy thing anymore.

The slow way involves filling your jar with loads of tiny demons that you then control. The fast way uses one big demon. You fill up your jar all at once but the one big demon will probably control you instead.

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  • $\begingroup$ Awesome idea :) you could even employ some more hydrodynamic rules by saying that as the air/demonic magic has momentum if you vacuum a big demon into some poor dude all in one go you can end up with a greater concentration of demonic magic than you can by letting in just a bit at a time. Car engines can use this to get greater than 100% fill of their cylinders as the air keeps piling in for a little bit as the valve closes. Would explain why you can get more power out of a demonhost than you can the regular way. $\endgroup$ – Ynneadwraith Apr 22 at 10:36
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Because magical power isn't the important factor here.

Yes, the more powerful the mage the easier it is to bind the daemon, but that's actually not important as the daemon welcomes the attempt anyway. What's important is who ends up on top in the binding and for that the less tainted you are by the chaos the fewer ways the daemon can get it's hooks into your soul, the more likely you are to end up dominating the daemon.

What is seen as a failure to bind the daemon is actually the daemon winning the struggle for control, it then takes the soul of the summoner and departs--which looks to an observer like the binding failed.

The daemons play along because in the end they get the soul of the summoner either way, either immediately or when the summoner dies. Daemons don't age, they don't mind waiting around to collect the soul.

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  • $\begingroup$ I was going to give an answer with this same gist, as "because uncorrupted souls are more delicious to the daemon than partially- and especially mostly-corrupted souls"; the key concept being just what Loren Pechtel says : daemons have their own motivations for participating in this chaos magic, motivations entirely orthogonal to humans' motivations, and operating on much larger time scales $\endgroup$ – landru27 Apr 20 at 14:43
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Chaos magic and summoning are two routes to the same destination.

Summoning is an invitation to a demon to show up and take up residence in the host. The host hopes that he or she will wind up on top and in control. When that happens, it is OK with the demon because it is only a temporary situation. The demons involved with this are patient, and fine with the long game. Eventually the demon resident will see an opportunity and take control, even if it takes centuries. Demons have nothing better to do.

Chaos magic is older but ultimately the same thing - channelling demonic powers ultimately means inviting a demon to take up residence. Chaos magic was derived empirically in the ancient past and unlike modern summoners, practitioners of chaos magic did not know that was how it works. But that is how it works - a chaos magic practitioner has a patron demon which moves in a little more each time the practitioner uses her magic.

The end result of both - a demon takes up residence in the host, either in a part time vacation home sort of way or full time. Demons have an honor system and so if a host is already taken a new demon will (usually) not move in. Practitioners of chaos magic are already "taken" to one degree or another, and so their efforts to invite in a new or different demon resident will be rebuffed.

Very occasionally, a chaos magic practitioner can reset the clock but it requires a discerning chaos magician (most are not) and an especially suitable host (again, most are not). Such a person who has been dealing with a weaker demon or one of a different faction can expel her prior demon (which has been gradually moving in and getting stronger over the years) and replace it with the summoned new one. This is a risk for the new demon which must expel the old. It is also a risk for the host; the current demon inhabitant will not willingly be evicted, and possession is nine tenths of the law.

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    $\begingroup$ An alternative, even more unpleasant, alternative to the demons respecting each other calling "dibs" on mortals could be the demon who's invested time customizing their mortal isn't willing to give that up. The more exposure the mortal has, the more of a foothold the first demon has, and the more vicious the fight over the summoner will be, raising the chance they'll be torn apart by the conflict $\endgroup$ – Morgen Apr 19 at 9:02
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Because once chaos energy is utilized to transform oneself, it is unique to the individual and incompatible to other individual's tamed chaos energy.

Those who use chaos magic tame the chaos energies and bind them to themselves, mixing them with their own essence.

Demons (any reason you are using the ae spelling btw?) also have their own essence and their own individuality, so the tamed chaos energies of the demons are incompatible with the tamed chaos energies of people. When you summon the demon, he gets merged with you, so if you're pure the merge goes without a hitch, but if you have your own tamed chaos energy it clashes.

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When a building is made it has certain foundations. After that point any extra changes to the building (more floors, extensions, bigger doors) either has to be done while respecting the limitations of the already existing structure, or you have to knock down the building and start again.

Magic is similar. To use it you first have to lay down mental foundations and create appropriate structures to support your burgeoning magic use. One or two simple spells are like a couple of sheds. A complex set of interlinked spells is more like a house that needs its own water and power lines to work properly.

A powerful mage is like an old, sprawling university campus. It’s been added to, rebuilt, remodelled and redesigned hundreds of times. Many buildings are full of explosive materials (or worse: tenured professors), and the utility line maps look more like an arcane puzzle than a useful document. Trying to knock all of it down to dig the foundations needed to support the metaphysical skyscraper that is a daemon is an insanely complex task that risks all sorts of things going wrong even if the daemon is fully co-operative. As it isn’t: you can guarantee that the daemon will burn everything to the ground and not bother taking up residence itself.

An initiate is virgin soil. Your binding ritual digs into their soul, lays down a solid foundation on the first try and slams the daemon-skyscraper in place with ease. No muss, no fuss, just daemonic possession. No other chaotic magic to complicate the process, no other foundations of power to get in the way. Neat and clean.

TLDR: Previous magic use adds complications that complicate the binding ritual to the point of complicated impossibility.

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  1. Gods want to be worshipped, not serve. A daemon would shy away from anyone powerful enough to control them properly. If the summoner seems innocuous, the Daemon isn't repelled by the attempt.
  2. Daemons want to eat souls. They crave them, and the souls of the innocent are filet mignon. Inexperienced people are the lure - the daemon hopes you will fail because of inexperience, and the person's soul is irresistable.
  3. A third party (devil/angel/god) blocks the powerful. If an experienced caster could summon a daemon, they might rival the divine being, so it stops the attempt. Lesser summoners aren't a threat, so why bother?
  4. Daemons secretly hate evil. Sure, they thrive on chaos, but back before whatever brought chaos, the daemon was a relatively nice entity. You use 'evil' magic, but only let yourself be bound by something you believe will use the power wisely.
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Because the power of the Daemon is directly proportional with the mage that summoned it

A powerful mage produces a powerful deamon, which due to some non-linearity in how capable the binding spell is vs the strength of the mage, means that a novice mage can summon and bind a weak daemon without issue.
Meanwhile a powerful mage will summon a hugely powerful Greater Daemon and find himself struggling to Bind the daemon.

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Daemon's instrinctive defenses are not triggered by apparent humans.

Daemons are in contant conflict with other daemons (or at least frequent). Most every interaction between daemons will include something loosely similar to the daemon-host ritual, where one daemon tries to bind and consumed the other. Any daemon not good at this is already gone, consumed by one greater. Indeed this is true to an extent even for the human daemon host ritual, the daemon is largely bound to the will of the host, and some say the human consumes part of its soul even as the daemon consumes the human's. But this is not the complete destruction that comess from a daemon binding and consuming another.

So daemons are naturally selected to avoid being bound and consumed by other daemons. When a daemon encounters another powerful daemon this triggers a physiological and theumatological response. Something like adrenaline, before the daemon even constantly aware of what it is looking at its muscles tense and its defensive magics are already rising to the surface. The stronger the the other demon the stonger and more rapid the response, though it is always there.

However, at the end of the day counter-binding means starting on the back-foot. One step behind the aggressor, who already has started the binding before you can counter. This is why the daemon's instinctive raising of defenses is so important. Without it there is potentially time to complete the binding before the demon can counter it, definately for another daemon, and potentially for a human. But once a daemon's instrinctive reaction to a threat is started its nearly impossible for a human mage to touch them.

However, in this lies their weakness. The instinctive reaction is triggered by perception of a daemonic threat. A uncorrupted human, without visable chaotic mutations, barely registers at all to a daemons subconcious. This is not purely a visable phenomonon, somehow daemons can always detect those chaos magic has corrupted. Do they percieve tge changesz in the soul? Or is it like a scent that leaks out the mutated parts? Can mages learn to do this also? Studies are ongoing.

So a uncorrupted, i.e. novice, mage has the best chance at completing the binding ritual before the daemon can rally its defense conciously.


The question does not make it clear what happens when someone fails to make a daemonhost. But I am assuming it is something like, the daemon consumes the mage utterly, and then without anything left binding it to this plane vanishes, or perhaps rampages until what fuel holds it here is expended.

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Chaos magic works as daemon repellent, because it means trouble

Your daemons could have behaviors similar to animal species in which cannibalism is common or food competition is high . That way, a daemon could recognize a summoner more tainted with chaos magic as if another, potentially stronger daemon was already there trying to consume the soul, and thus would deny this risky feeding chance. Less corrupted summoners could have a higher chance if they happened to summon a bolder daemon, who thought their weaker chaos reading meant it could take it on and still have a chance at consuming a tasty soul. Pure summoners on the other hand mean to daemons a friendly invitation to a snack in another world with no threats whatsoever, meaning a larger number of daemons would be willing to take the offer for a potential easy snack (soul) to consume.

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Do you eat your soup out of a bowl, or a sieve?

A Mage doesn't "contain" Chaos Magic. They filter Chaos Magic out of the Daemonic Realm, with which to enact their will. The act of wielding Chaos Magic will, by its nature, open you up to its flow - making you more "porous" to Chaos Magic, and allowing you to channel it. As they do so, it becomes possible to "see" the Daemonic Realm through them, like a frosted window, manifesting as the bodily mutations.

However, this same property means that any Daemon you attempt to bind has an easy escape route!

A successful Daemon Host is a self-contained pool of Chaos Magic - they only need to tap into the Daemonic Realm to recharge, instead of requiring a constant flow.

On the plus side - powerful Mages are also harder for Daemons to notice, influence or interact with, becoming little more than a ghost to their senses.

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Too much power for a Human

The premise is that a Daemon Host is much stronger than most Mages, but has to start out fairly weak. So perhaps the resultant Host's power is based on a combination of the Human's power and the Daemon's power. But not a simple addition, but multiplicative or even logarithmic.

Why does this matter? Because the Host still has a Human body and brain. And there is only so much power a Human can handle. Or in simple and generic math terms...

Human's power = x; Daemon's power = y

The total power of the resultant host is (x + 1) * y.

If (x + 1) * y > 70, the Host will go insane and burn themselves out in a few years. How long depends on the actual result, and to a lesser degree on the Human. And if the result is over 100 (give or take) the Host explodes almost immediately.

Can't have two Daemon at once

A Chaos Mage, every Mage, already has a Daemon inside them. The act of learning magic, opening up to Chaos, draws a Daemon into them. But rather than a powerful, sentient creature, this Daemon is weak, young, and has no will of its own. Rather than the Lion, Human, or Dragon type Daemon summoned for a Host binding, a Mage's Daemon is a goldfish or a hamster. At least to start.

As the Mage grows stronger, so does their Daemon. It grows in power and intelligence. But because it was basically mindless to start, it's personality greatly mimics that of the Mage, to the point they can barely tell each other apart.

A Human can only host one Daemon. So when a Mage tries to become a Host, the two demons fight. If the Mage (and thus their current partner) is weak, the accidental Daemon is easily destroyed, and the purposeful one takes its place. The Mage becomes a Host. But if the Mage is powerful, so is their Daemon. Their magikarp evolved into a gyarados. So when the two Daemon fight, it is not a quick, easy victory. Best case scenario, the fight ends without the Human being destroyed, but the surviving Daemon is greatly and permanently weakened, defeating the purpose of the ritual. Most of the time however, the Human is killed in the process. Liquified, burned out from this inside, torn to shreds, etc. Either way, it is not something a powerful Mage would risk.

And naturally, a Host candidate who is not a Mage doesn't have to worry about that.

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Chaos, competence, and predictiblity

I watched recently a lower tier Mighty Jingles video (probably WoT maybe WoWS). The commentator noted, that competent players are easy to predict, because if you're competent yourself, you know what you would do in that situation. Rookies are unpredictable, as they can try some really idiotic thing.

Now let's see what's with your daemons: When it comes to chaos magic, daemons are very competent players, so are high level wizards. When they try to control each other as summoning, predicting the other's move is easy, and even though a good wizard is almost as good as a daemon, the later one is natural. So when they struggle for control, the daemon will probably win.

But this is CHAOS magic! And chaos is unpredictable. So when a rookie wizard tries to summon the daemon, the daemon won't know his next move, and this unpredictibility gives him a better chance.

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You must not lose your Self

It might be that binding a demon is such a directed operation from your Self to that of the demon that is is incredibly important not to lose your self in the process. If your Self already has aspects that look demonic, then the demon can make it virtually impossible to tell yourself from the demon. In such circumstances you can easily bind yourself, and that leads to... unspeakable consequences.

It takes fluid thought

This one is just something that amuses me from the world of amateur telescope making. One of the high arts is making one's own primary mirror. It requires a great deal of care and cleverness to grind a perfectly spherical mirror (which is then ground to a parabola in a secondary step).

In the amateur telescope making world, they often say that your second mirror is your best. Your first one obviously involves lots of learning. Your second one is best. By the third one, you've gotten then hang of it... which means your movement lack the randomness that is essential to the process. It takes many more mirrors to "learn" back that randomness to create a truly stellar mirror once again.

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The binding is entirely voluntarily on part of the Daemon. Daemons prefer to bind to uncorrputed, for reasons they don't (or can't?) really explain. Many Chaos worshippers can't nuderstand this - their religion tends to draw in selfish people who believe in power and that might makes right, that a Daemon may tick differently is beyond. To be fair, no one understands just why Daemons prefer to bind to the uncorrupted.

You could add a religion that works more like some strands of Buddhism: It's not about worshipping gods as much as about seeking enlightenment. It is understood that, to become enlightened, you have to dedicate your whole life to this end. Some strands beleive that binding with a demon helps, as demons have access to other forms of knowledge, or sensual experience. Others beleive that the act of binding destroys the self of the mortal, and this is a prerequisite to reach an enlightened state.

Then again, there's a school of thought that thinks the Daemons are as unenlightened and suffering as anyone else and some bind to humans as part of their quest for enlightenment. Daemons, when asked by some brave soul, deny this but they lie all the time anyway so who knows.

You could also add people who don't worship Daemons, in fact they fight Chaos-worshippers, they just think that binding to Daemons is the most effective way to do that. The Daemons find this hilarious.

Last not least, since plants, animals etc. usually can't perform magic they are always untainted. Every once in while, they are rumors of immensly powerful cats or anthives or forest mushrooms, doing their cat or anthive or mushroom thing with unstoppable power for a short while before the bound Daemon gets bored.

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For this I will be presuming a different definition of daemon: A spirit between gods and humans, as the ancient Greeks used to use the term.

In addition, this premise holds that Chaos Magic is more wild and untamed like raw nature as opposed to random chance and unpredictability. Attempting to tame what cannot be tamed will always have side effects.

When a mage summons a daemon to bind to, they get a daemon that is compatible with their purely human soul. In a successful binding, the daemon and human accept each other and a new daemon-host is created. What happens during this time is unique to the pair, but the results of failure are spectacular, though suspiciously silent on what consumes the souls.

The daemons summoned might not necessarily be evil nor do they have an insatiable appetite for human souls. They are more so crystallized aspects of the untamed magics that we humans call Chaos Magic.

The problem comes in that when a human starts using Chaos Magic, the magic seeps into them, transforming them into something that is no longer purely human. But as stated, the daemon resonates with the human soul, which leads to compatibility issues during the actual act of binding.

For newer mages that are not as changed, it is a minor issue that the pair can work with, and bind over. Though the binding might not be as strong as it would be with a pure human soul, or it creates a weakness where the bond the ritual created is metaphysically weaker.

But to a powerful caster, possibly half-transformed into a daemon themselves by their own magics? The binding spell that joins two entities together, full daemon and human, has a problem -- either the caster is now no longer human enough to qualify, or there is a sort of proto-daemon within them already that is kind of bound to them.

Regardless of the mechanics under the hood, there are severe compatibility issues. If these issues cannot be worked out by the end of the ritual, the failure conditions occur. Regardless of the mechanics of why the failure occurs, the result is the same -- the soul being consumed in the backlash of Chaos Magic. Since the goal is to deter people from trying this, the tales spread of daemons consuming the soul. Do they though? Well, that is a debate for scholars.

Another potential avenue for failure is that the ritual, when performed by a powerful, partially transformed mage, summons two daemons -- one for the human that was and one for the being that is, and it is them fighting (or both trying to enter the ritual) that results in the failure and backlash.

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You're talking about making a deal with (a/the) devil.

Never a great idea. The devil wants to corrupt and destroy your soul. If you've been making lots of little deals with him over the years, escalating the damage to your soul, the demon doesn't have to give you very much. In the typical deal-with-the-devil story, the point where the character is knee-deep in the consequences of his terrible decisions is where the deals turn increasingly sour. He's ensnared.

On the other hand, the devil would offer a much better price to try to seduce a relatively innocent soul that it sees as more difficult to corrupt. Regardless, the deal is always going to turn out badly for the human who makes it.

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